Whats up with OKC?
By Addam Francisco
Lately there's been a lot of talk about Oklahoma City's lack of defensive play, and increased turnovers so far this year. Thats exactly what the problem is along with it seeming to be the Kevin and Russell show. This was the case for the third straight game, this time in a 104-98 loss to the Chicago Bulls.
Everyone wants to freak out, especially in Oklahoma when it comes to sports teams not playing up to their expectations but people have to realize that OKC just got a new coach, which means a complete different system. Billy Donovan is still learning how to be be an NBA coach, and also how to work with the different players on this team. Also, the players are trying to learn Billy's system as well. It's like everyone forgets that the Thunder are only six games into the season.
There are things that obviously need improvement though. Oklahoma City going into the season had the best bench in the league, according to some sources and if thats the case there's no reason why Dion Waiters, D.J. Augustin, Anthony Morrow, and Enes Kanter should only combine for only 19 points, 11 of which came from Kanter. Yes, Morrow's defense needs to improve, but utilizing his offensive game, while teaching or maybe motivating him to play defense would help this team edge past many teams.
There's a lot of 1-on-1 ball down the stretch. It seems to either be Westbrook taking someone to the basket, shooting a jump shot, or Kevin doing the same thing. Russell leads the league in assists, averaging right around 10 per game but that for the first three and a half quarters. Down the stretch to seems like he abandons that game and does his own thing at times. For Oklahoma City to win a championship its simple. The answer is right in front of them... Utilize bench players, increase defensive intensity and keep scoring.
Oklahoma City is 3-3 so far, and there are 76 more games to the season. It's not time to panic, its time to look for things to improve on. They will face the Phoenix Suns at 6 p.m. on Sunday, in Oklahoma City where they will try and snap a 3-game losing streak and improve their record to 4-3 on the season.